You Should Probably Read STARVE
Another Image book, Taylor? Really?
Yeah, fool. It’s good. I don’t know what story I’d previously mentioned when I said that you know it’s good when the creators can make you care about something you never thought you’d care about. But let me use that again. I’ve never cared about cooking and I normally read comics for the art and the violence. But Starve is an exception to any “rules” I’ve had before.
I’ve wanted to write this since I read the first issue a couple months ago but I’m not into doing flat out reviews when it comes to comics. Why? Because I don’t know what to make of a single issue and I don’t want to commit to doing reviews for something if it’s not a one-shot like movies for fear I’ll just drop it anyway. I mean, some things just really suck and I can’t keep doing something I hate.
So what’s Starve about?
Ever since celebrity chef Gavin Cruikshank willingly exiled himself from first world society, the cooking show he started, “Starve”, has become an even bigger phenomenon than when he was on it. With life having beaten him down from things that were out of his control as well as his own device, Gavin is unwillingly brought back to his show by contract. But things have changed and since Gavin left, Starve has become much more perverse. Killing the animal you cook on live TV is just a small step in the bigger game Gavin plays to get his life back together and keep his ex-wife from practically having him killed.
See, I can hardly make it sound good with a description. It’s kind of like Hunger Games but with a cooking show instead of kids killing each other. The rich watch some despicable/bizarre things happen for their own amusement and Gavin has to continually bounce back and forth between playing by the rules set by his rival/show runner Roman Algiers…and doing what he wants. This may get him kicked off the show or put him in the lead, whatever is the most entertaining. And there are plenty of “Are you not entertained?!” moments.
Maybe the biggest reason Starve sticks out to me is the idea of this guy having different groups of people trying their damndest to make Gavin look like an idiot publicly. Even if you don’t have a blog where people email you to tell you that you must hate yourself or that you should stop writing, I think everybody knows what it’s like for others to attempt to make a fool of you. Maliciously, at that. I’ll do that on my own, thank ya.
And Gavin is that same way. He’s a former user, alcoholic, and his already rich wife is raking in all the money Gavin would be making from the moolah (mulah?) Starve is bringing. I guess she’s got something of a case if she’s married to the guy for twenty years before he comes out of the closet, claiming he “stole” the best years of her life as a gay man pretending to be straight and never just being a full-on husband, so to speak. So you can see why people have a problem with Gavin but you can’t help but root for him either.
Writer Brian Woods does a great job at balancing the drama with the comedy. It never gets too heavy on the melodrama and the stuff you laugh at might be more from how over-the-top the show is. People in the future are gross, that’s all I’ll say. People now are gross too, yes, I know.
The art, all done by Croatian artist Danijel Zezelj (Thank God I don’t have to pronounce it) is something I can admit isn’t my favorite. But it’s certainly not bad and better than that, it fits the story. Much like Wytches, a grittier look is needed for such a story. Humberto Ramos is amazing, but it would change everything about the tone. So for what this is, I can appreciate it and the fact that it’s consistent has allowed it to grow on me as well. Good or bad, when the art is changing between books (or even mid-book, gah!), it really throws off the groove for me.
I don’t want to say much more than I already have other than that so far, I’m really digging this. At the time of writing (August 14th, 2015), issue #3 is on stands. Check this out when you get a chance. Cooking never seemed so badass.